Tuesday, September 16, 2014

baby step baby step



As children copy their fathers you, as God’s children, are to copy Him. Live your lives in love–the same sort of love which Christ gives us and which He perfectly expressed when He gave Himself up for us in sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

I sometimes pray not for self-knowledge in general but for just so much self-knowledge at the moment as I can bear and use at the moment, the little daily dose.

Have we any reason to suppose that total self-knowledge, if it were given us, would be for our good? Children and fools, we are told, should never look at half-done work; and we are not yet, I trust even half-done. You and I wouldn’t, at all stages, think it wise to tell a pupil exactly what we thought of his quality. It is much more important that he should know what to do next. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm

So I am teaching fourteen-year-olds literary analysis, line by line.

And they all have a long way to go. But man, after I give my little song and dance about citation, and blending the explanation smoothly with four to seven words of the text, and quotation marks around the exact words, and the page number and only the page number inside parenthesis and then closing punctuation, there is a veritable ocean full of swaying seaweed arms vying for not only my attention, but my approval.

And one hardly knows where to begin, with redundant adverbs, awkward word choice, and myriad misplaced apostrophes, but there are always the gleaming nuggets of progress to be picked up, examined and noticed with a broad smile.

And to be given the next step.

Yesterday I saw a picture of Dustin in his father’s arms. And my goodness, the tilt of the brow, the mass of blonde curls and the round, so very round eyes are identical to those of my beloved Everette. She is her father’s child without the tiniest chill of doubt.

But no matter how very clever is my beloved Everette, she is not about to crawl under the trailer of an indigent woman and replace the sewage line. And although I am thrilled with her new words, “up” and “down” that I taught her Thursday, lifting her way, way up and way, way down, over and over, those are no where near the profundity of Mr. Eloquent Schaber. But that does not takes away from the huge strides she has made from her grunts and flailing of just last week.

And we are to copy Him–in love–the same sort of love that Christ perfectly expressed when He gave Himself up for us in sacrifice to God. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

He then took a little child, whom set him among them and embraced, and he said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes a little child such as this in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’ Mark 9:36–37